Book Review- The-Wrong-Child

The Wrong Child

by

Barry Gornell

 

The Wrong Child would have rate as one of the worst audio books I have listened to.  I specify audiobooks, as some reviewers have rated it quite the opposite.  The only reason, I can think of for a high rating, is that it is a book to ‘read’.

The narrator, while not as good as Sean Mangan, was reasonably good and he did his best to hold his audience’s attention.

The Wrong Child is supposed to be a story about a town where twenty-one of twenty-two children were killed in an accident.  However, the accident was not described, or explained, as far as I can remember until the last few minutes of the forty-second, and last track, or chapter.

And sadly The Wrong Child had nothing to do with a child being kidnapped or some other such event.  Rather The Wrong Child was the one who was not killed and unfortunately, for him, none of the townsfolk, including his parents, liked him.

Aside from all of the above other low-lights, planted in my mind, included, but we’re not limited to:

  • A man walking into a school classroom and frightening the students

  • A man digging a grave, stripping naked, folding his clothes and then?  We don’t know because the story took one of its many leaps which left me wondering had I missed a chapter.

  • The surviving child, known as ‘Dog’ (not Douglas) liked to masturbate which was described in detail on several occasions.

  • The local priest was not as celibate as he was supposed to be.

All in all it was The Wrong Book for me, at least

 

I have rated

The Wrong Child

 The Wrong Child

a lowly

read.

Goodreads readers have rated

The Wrong Child

an average of 3.13 stars from 15 ratings and 8 reviews

The Wrong Child

can be purchased on-line at

FishpondBooktopia and Amazon

 

Book Review-Promise

Promise

by

Sarah Armstrong

 

Picture yourself.  You are a solid upstanding citizen with a good job and in a relationship with a like-minded person.  Then one day your world is turned upside down when a ‘family’ moves in next door.  It soon becomes obvious that both adults are using drugs.

However, it is not until the five year old daughter comes over to visit that your worries really commence.  You note human teeth marks on her leg, bruises on her body and she tells you that ‘Mummy did it’.  Of course you contact authorities.  Child welfare does nothing and the police visit antagonises the male, who is not the child’s father.  A few days later he is holding the five year old upside down and shaking her violently and promises to do worse if you call authorities again.

What would you do?  Abduct the girl?  Would you risk going to jail for the sake of a five year old girl?

That is exactly what Anna does.  She takes five year old Charlie and leaves town.  Anna and Charlie head for the bush.  They find refuge in a sparsely populated area with little connection to the outside world.  In this environment they are safe.  For a while!

All stories need an end and I am not prepared to reveal how this one ends.

I listened to this story and need to give the narrator a pat on the back on the back.  I have often stated that the narrator can make or break an audio book.  Leith McPherson’s narration of Promise made the book so enjoyable.   Characters were easily identifiable by ‘their’ voices.   A big plus when listening to audio books while driving.

I think

Promise

 Image result for Promise sarah armstrong

is definitely a

read.

Goodreads readers have rated

Promise

an average of 3.91 stars from 137 ratings and 26 reviews

Promise

can be purchased on-line at

FishpondBooktopia, and Amazon

 

Book Review-Beyond-the-Orchard

 

Beyond the Orchard 

by

Anna Romer

 

 

Beyond the Orchard by Anna Romer is set along the Great Ocean Road which, as the names suggests runs along Victoria’s South Coast between Geelong and Port Campbell, although others would have it continue much further for the tourist trade.

Back to Beyond the Orchard.  The only towns mentioned are Apollo Bay, Geelong and Ballarat, an inland gold mining town, now a city.  It is there that reality ends and fictions commences.

In 1993, our heroine, Lucy, in Beyond the Orchard is engaged to an Englishman when she returns home upon her grandfather’s death.  The story line then commences to swap between 1993 and 1930 as Lucy uncovers some secrets of her ancestors and other people who frequented Bitterwood, the ancestral home of the 1930s.

 I enjoyed the story although it was difficult, at times, to follow as an audio book.  Again I re-iterate that the narrator’s voice did not do much to help this book.  She was crisp and clear, however, a mere twenty-four hours after completing Beyond the Orchard I cannot remember one ‘character’ voice.  Therefore, as alluded to above, this made transitions between 1993 and 1930 difficult to follow, especially when driving.

I did enjoy the story (a big plus for my reading) and thought it worth three and a half stars for the story and half a star for the nearby setting.  I think Beyond the Orchard would be a better ‘read’ or if you opt for the audio version avoid driving when listening.

I think Beyond the Orchard

 Image result for Beyond the Orchard

is a

with a half star bonus for the nearby setting


Goodreads readers have rated

Beyond the Orchard

an average of 3.98 stars from 195 ratings and 67 reviews

Beyond the Orchard

can be purchased on-line at

FishpondBooktopia, and Amazon

 

Book Review-Song-of-the-Bellbirds

 

Song of the Bellbirds 

by

Anne McCullagh Rennie

Song of the Bellbirds by Sydney author, Anne McCullagh Rennie, follows the fortunes of a young Australian singer from Queensland, in her quest to become a professional opera singer.

All young Lizzie Foster wants to do is help out on the family farm and sing while doing so. However, life has other plans…for her.

Eventually she is asked to go to Vienna and study with the best of the best. It is in Vienna that she meets her one true love. After several years Lizzie returns to Australia and her home own and vows never to sing again. That is, until…..

Song of the Bellbirds has nearly an all female cast of characters…a change from the thrillers and crime genre novels I usually listen to, or read.

I thoroughly enjoyed Song of the Bellbirds and think it deserves its four star rating.

 

An enjoyable

read.  

Goodreads readers have rated

Song of the Bellbirds 

an average of 3.54 stars from 37 ratings and 4 reviews

Image result for song of the bellbirds

Song of the Bellbirds 

can be purchased on-line at 

Fishpond, Booktopia and Amazon

Read in 2017

Book Review-The-Raging-Quiet

 

The Raging Quiet

by

Sherryl Jordan

The Raging Quiet highlights the prejudices and ignorance of people when they are confronted with those who are different.  Although set in the past the concepts are equally applicable in the 21st century.

A young Marnie is spurned by her friends and relatives because of rumours relating to her morality.  After a short marriage and Marnie is left to fend for herself against the townsfolk’s prejudices in the village to which she moved.

The only friends she finds are the local priest and the mad boy.

Anymore will spoil the plot.

Enjoy a solid

read.  

Goodreads readers have rated

The Raging Quiet

an average of 4.22 stars from 3,474 ratings and 315 reviews

 

Image result for The Raging Quiet

The Raging Quiet

can be purchased on-line at 

Fishpond, and Amazon

NB: Fishpond search shows

‘Sweet Sacrament’ first

followed by ‘Raging Quiet’.

Read in 2010

Book Review-The-Monogram-Murders

 

The Monogram Murders

(A new Hercule Poirot novel)

by

Sophie Hannah

Recently I received a book for my birthday.  This book contained four novels by four authors.  One of these novels one had the words Agatha Christie emblazoned on it, although it was written by Sophie Hannah.

Having read Agatha Christie books some forty years ago I decided to take the plunge with the new Hercule Poirot novel, The Monogram Murders.

I do not remember whether I liked or disliked Agatha Christie books.  May be my subconscious has blacked out all memories of these books, if they were anything like The Monogram Murders.

Harriet Sippel, Ida Gransbury and Richard Negus were the first three victims.  Not a spoiler as they were never really in the story…just dead.   However, it was not until nearly half way through the books that they were referred to as victims or Harriet, Ida and Richard.  Prior to this point their full names were written Harriet Sippel, Ida Gransbury and Richard Negus, each time a reference was made to the murder victims.

My second grumble, and this is probably applicable to all Hercule Poirot books, is that a large portion of the of the book was devoted to Poirot explaining how he arrived at his conclusion, which had to be correct, by such things as where the word ’now’ was inserted in a conversational sentence.

My third grumble is that this novel is written, or told, as a first person account of the murders through the eyes of Edward Catchpool, a Scotland Yard detective, who was continually feeling embarrassed or made look incompetent by Poirot.

If this is Sophie Hannah’s writing style then I will avoid reading any of her other best sellers. If she has changed her style to suit Agatha Christie’s format then I think she should revert to her own style, whatever that may be. I should also state that, with few exceptions, I am generally not a fan of any book set or written about this time in history.

I have often stated that I read for enjoyment. This was not enjoyable.  I did not like the style in which it was written, nor the plot or long-winded explanation at the end.

While I acknowledge my writing abilities are not good enough to write this, or any other, book as a consumer I am allowed to express an opinion about books I read.

It is not the worst novel I have read or listened to.  At least I completed The Monogram Murders and for this reason I will give it a two star rating along with 16% of other Goodreads reviewers.

Just astars_2
read.  

Goodreads readers have rated

The Monogram Murders

an average of 3.21 stars from 9,152 ratings and 1,828 reviews

 

The Monogram Murders

The Monogram Murders

can be purchased on-line at 

FishpondBooktopia and Amazon

Book Review-The-Dead-Beat

 

The Dead Beat

by

Doug Johnstone

My first Doug Johnstone audio novel and a worthwhile listen/read at that. I have stated several times that the narrator can make or break an audio book and in this case it is the former.

Set in Scotland, the narrator’s Scottish accents are wonderful to listen to, although they may make a true Scot cringe.

The plot maybe stretched a tad.  After all it is unlikely to see a work experience staff member writing obituaries on her first day on the job at the local newspaper. However, most of my favourite fiction authors or books have plots which are  way over the top…but still entertaining.  And I found this one to be entertaining.

However, in a newspaper office is where the book began and there was enough in the first few paragraphs to whet my appetite.  The story line developed well combining mental illness, depression, suicide, murders and extramarital affairs to create an interesting read.

Normally, mental illness, and depression are not topics high on my list of ‘must reads’.  However, in this case each was not overdone, and therefore, not a detailed description of each characters illness was included.

I have rate The Dead Beat as a three star read on Goodreads.  If the option was available I would have added a half star.

Definitely, a nice quick read.

A solid
stars_3-5
read.  

Goodreads readers have rated

The Dead Beat

an average of 3.6 stars from 170 ratings and 25 reviews

 

The Dead Beat

The Dead Beat

can be purchased on-line at 

FishpondBooktopia and Amazon